Monday, August 2, 2010

Kjerstin got her trach out this weekend. She is trying to talk but it is hard to understand her. She isn't swallowing very well, so the saliva builds up in her mouth and it makes it hard to understand her. The swallow test was terrible. Mom and the nurses had to help hold Kjerstin's arms and head while they did this. They put a small tube down her nose and into her throat. Mom said it was like when we used to take Kjerstin for shots. After that, Kjerstin was mad and wouldn't communicate with them. However, when her speech therapist came in, Kjerstin said "Hi" to her and when she asked Kjerstin how she was doing, Kjerstin said "OK".

Mom has figured out that sometimes Kjerstin doesn't do things during therapy because she doesn't want to, not because she can't! Imagine that! Not kjerstin. She would never do a thing like that.

Kjerstin is really wanting to walk. The therapist said that they are going to try to start this on Friday. They have to make sure her pelvis fracture is healed enough to bear weight fully. They normally wouldn't push this, but they said Kjerstin's frustration level is very high and they are afraid if they keep telling her "no" that it will discourage her and delay her progress. She already gets upset when she can't walk and doesn't try as hard in her other areas of therapy.

Mom is doing awesome. She is doing everything Kjerstin needs. She is beyond exhausted, though. On Sunday, she just seemed in a daze. She cries every weekend when I go up there. (We have agreed that she only cries when she is out of the hospital, so Kjerstin doesn't know.) I can't say that I wouldn't cry too. I don't know how she does it. But, everyone says I am so strong and so is Kjerstin. Guess we know where we got it, huh? It has been 5 weeks now. Seems like an eternity.

The therapists said that the next few months will be a really hard time for the family and that Kjerstin's progress will be slow, but that is normal. We are a "hurry up and go" kind of family, so this is even harder for us. We have also learned that sleep is a thing of the past. Unfortunately we wish this wasn't so, but for now this is our life. God is just teaching us one lesson after another lately.

On Sunday, I gave her a shower. What a feat! By the time we were finished moving from the bed to the wheelchair, to the toilet, back to the chair, had a shower and back to the bed, I was exhausted. I don't know how Mom does it. During this process, Kjerstin looked at me funny. I asked her if she knew who I was and she said "no." I asked if I was her sister & she said "no" again. That was really hard. I didn't react and just finished her bath. When we were finished, I stepped out for a minute and cried briefly. I made sure Mom was gone first. Dad saw though. I think it's the first time he's seen me cry through this ordeal. He said that sometimes when she gets tired she gets confused and forgets. It was still hard. Then and even now, as I write this, through my tears, I wonder why...... Why my baby sister? Why anyone? I just want to close my eyes & make it all go away. I want to see her walk again. I want to see her get all dressed up for prom and graduate and go to college. I want to see her fall in love and have heartaches. I want to laugh with her again and argue with her again. I want to sit and listen to her & give her sisterly advice. And more importantly, I want her to just be her again. Mom says the why doesn't matter. She says God has a plan. She says she doesn't understand it, but this is what faith is all about. She says God only gives us what he knows we can handle. Can I be weak now? I don't want to be strong anymore. I'm trying, mom, but will someone, please tell me how to do this. Actually, I can hear my mom right now and she would say....."This too shall pass." i am so thankful for the mother and family that God has given me. I don't know what I'd do without them. Yes, Jerimiah, even your annoying self! (Just teasing. You know I love you.) And, Jace, we miss you. I know this is hard for us all, especially you, but please come visit. If nothing else, I need you.

Please pray for Kjerstin & our family. I know some may think that it should be getting easier now, but it isn't. Every weekend Jerimiah, Steph, & I drive up to Nebraska. We barely sleep, we visit, help care for Kjerstin & we drive back home. We work all week, spend time with our kids, take care of everything here & start all over again. It's exhausting. I'm sure it's small in comparison to what Mom & Kjerstin are going through, though. We will get through this, but we continue to need everyone's support.


  1. God never gives you more than you can handle.
    Kj is a very strong young woman and the strong family is helping!
    praying for more recovery and physical and emotional strength for the whole family!
    ~ stengl's

  2. So very true...God will never give us more than we can handle. When we think we have had enough, we usually see someone going through a situation much worse than ours. I think God lets us see that, so that we will see that we truly are blessed to be going through what we are, instead of what that other person may be going through. We all need to be grateful everyday that Kjerstin is still here with your family! Praise God!!!